LAS VEGAS — Tyson Fury’s title was dripping away, along with a lot of his blood, as he was cut late in the third round by a punch from Otto Wallin that opened a deep gash above his right eyebrow.
Referee Tony Weeks had the doctor check it and there was a palpable sense at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday that the Swede could be on the verge of a massive upset.
But Fury picked up the pace considerably and showed the heart of a champion, pulling away to capture a tougher-than-expected unanimous decision victory over the 25-1 underdog.
Judges had it 116-112, 117-111 and 118-110 for Fury. Yahoo Sports had it 116-112 for Fury.
After it was over, Fury bellowed, “Deontay Wilder! I want you next, bum!” referring to the WBC heavyweight champion he’s scheduled to fight on Feb. 22.
But for a while, that bout was very much in doubt as Wallin gave Fury fits early in the bout. Not only did Wallin open the cut with a clean punch, but then he did everything possible within the rules and sometimes outside them, to deepen it.
At one point, after Wallin raked his glove across Fury’s face, Fury shouted obscenities at Wallin.
But Fury proved what he’s made of. He clearly picked up the intensity and was landing thudding shots to the ribcage. He nearly finished Walli
n at the end of the 11th with a shot to the solar plexus that doubled the Swede over. Wallin was saved by the bell in the 11th.
He fought a strong 12th, but Fury had put enough rounds in the bank by that point to have the victory wrapped up.
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